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Just Shoot Me! is an Americanmarker television sitcom that aired for seven seasons on NBC from March 4, 1997 to August 16, 2003, with 148 episodes produced. The show was created by Steven Levitan, the show's executive producer.


The show followed the staff at the fictional fashion magazine Blush. The show originally centered on Maya Gallo played by Laura San Giacomo, a neo-feminist writer, who reluctantly takes a job at the glamour magazine, owned by her father, the Donald Trump-like Jack Gallo played by George Segal (who in the story has a rivalry with Donald Trump). The cast included womanizing (and usually over-sensitive) photographer Elliot DiMauro (Enrico Colantoni), and the heavy drinking and sexually promiscuous ex-model Nina Van Horn (Wendie Malick).

After the show's original pilot for NBC, David Spade was added to the cast as smart-mouthed assistant Dennis Finch. While the show had been designed as something of a vehicle for San Giacomo, it developed into more of an ensemble format. The show has also been credited as bringing a surge of renewed popularity for Segal and Malick, who had been out of the public eye for some time up until Just Shoot Me!. Every episode of the 148-episode, seven season run features all five regular cast members.

The first season also included Chris Hogan as Maya's roommate, Wally, who was dropped when the show quickly solidified as a workplace sitcom, making the Mary-Rhoda dynamic obsolete. Hogan did not appear in all six episodes of the first season and was only included in a few minutes of some episodes. Brian Posehn appeared as mail clerk Kevin Liotta (Ray Liotta's cousin) through much of the last four seasons. Rena Sofer, the only regular added during the run of the show, played young fashion savant Vicki Costa during the final season. Also in the final season, Simon Templeman played the recurring role of British rock star Simon Leeds, who had a relationship with Nina.

Notable actors appearing in a recurring or guest star capacity included Rebecca Romijn (as supermodel Adrienne Barker, Spade's TV wife), Brian Dennehy (as Dennis' father who gets engaged to Nina in an episode), David Cross (as Elliot's younger brother who pretends to be mentally disabled), Rhoda Gemignani, Cybill Shepherd, Stephen Root, Steve Carell, Tom Kenny, Dana Carvey, Jim Wise, Tiffani Thiessen, Andy Dick, Gina Gershon, Dave Foley, Ali Larter, Penn Jillette, Kevin Sorbo, Mark Hamill, George Lucas, Amy Sedaris, Kadeem Hardison, French Stewart, Carmen Electra, Ray Liotta, Snoop Dogg, Judy Greer and Paul Parducci as Deke "The Dekester" Williams. Models who made guest appearances on the show included Tyra Banks, Brooke Shields as Nina's younger sister, Stephanie Romanov, Amber Smith, Paige Brooks, Daphne Duplaix, Cassidy Rae, Cheryl Tiegs, and Rebecca Chaney.

The show was rooted in Levitan's earlier career as a writer for The Larry Sanders Show. He had once conceived of a story about Janeane Garofalo's character having to sit and talk with a vapid model with whom she had nothing in common. The idea went unproduced, but Levitan liked the dynamic and later used the idea to develop a pitch for NBC. Garofalo's persona would become a template for Maya Gallo.

Series history

Early on, the series was a very competitive hit, consistently winning its time slot. The show was so popular that its first season of six episodes were all aired by NBC in a single month in March 1997. It was renewed for a 13-episode second season, fitted at 9:30 after Frasier, and then was moved in the spring to Thursdays between Friends and Seinfeld. After just two of these airings, the order was bumped up to a full season. When Seinfeld left the airwaves in 1998, Just Shoot Me! was one of the contenders to take the coveted 9 p.m. Thursday slot. Frasier instead won the slot, and Just Shoot Me was instead given Frasier s 9 p.m. Tuesday slot.

Just Shoot Me! was never given a definitive timeslot during its series run. When Frasier underperformed in the coveted Thursday slot, NBC returned that show to Tuesdays at 9, moving Just Shoot Me! (in its third season) to another time that night. It still retained good ratings, though: in its fourth season, it was the top-rated show for NBC Tuesday nights and had an average rating of 6.1/16 share.

For its fifth season, Just Shoot Me! was put on to Thursdays at 9:30, between Will & Grace and ER, where ratings saw an immediate (though expected) spike and where the show would remain for two years.

The show's seventh season saw several drastic changes that inevitably led to its cancellation. Series showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio left the show at the end of the sixth season to pursue a development deal with NBC, and were replaced with Jon Pollack (Spin City) and Judd Pillot and John Peaslee (Coach, Anything But Love). Also noted as a big factor was the addition of Rena Sofer to the cast. Her addition was mandated by NBC, who had sought a successful vehicle for her for years. (She later starred in the ill-fated U.S. version of Coupling for the network).

At the same time, NBC also gave the show one of its most difficult timeslots, Tuesdays at 8 pm. Ratings fell sharply in the first few weeks, and the show was put on hiatus by November, showing only one new episode until the following April. During this time, production resumed, but Sofer's character was written out immediately. By this point, NBC had canceled the show, and promised Levitan to run the remaining episodes twice a week until the series finale. When the first of such installments was not as successful as NBC had hoped with its "Return of Just Shoot Me!" campaign, the show was again pulled, and new episodes were burned off in the summer, the final pair of episodes airing on a Saturday in August 2003. Three more episodes, including Sofer's speedy good-bye, were not aired in America until their respective slots in syndicated airings. Levitan publicly denounced NBC's treatment of a former Must-See TV show and refused production deals for several years.

Nielsen Ratings

Season Episodes Timeslot (ET) Season Premiere Season Finale Rank Viewers

(in millions)
1 6 Wednesday 9:00 March 4, 1997 March 26, 1997
2 25 Tuesday 9:30
Thursday 8:30
September 23, 1997 May 12, 1998 #10 11.66
3 25 Tuesday 9:00
Tuesday 8:30
September 22, 1998 May 25, 1999 #37 11.40
4 24 Tuesday 8:00 September 23, 1999 May 16, 2000
5 22 Thursday 9:30 October 12, 2000 May 10, 2001 #19 15.61
6 22 September 27, 2001 May 2, 2002 #20 14.40
7 24 (21 aired) Tuesday 8:00
Tuesday 8:30
Saturday 8:00
Saturday 8:30

October 8, 2002 August 16, 2003 #107 6.39



Dennis Quimby Finch

Born in Albany, New York (of Norwegian ancestry), Dennis attended Hudson River Junior College where he joined the cheerleading team. In general, Finch has been described as “a self-centered horny pig who’d stop at nothing to get laid.” Surreptitiously, Dennis writes articles for the “Dear Miss Pretty” advice column. Dennis also likes to collect action figures and ceramic kittens. He lives in an apartment, number 803, in New York City, NYmarker (Manhattanmarker). He is also known to have a fear of owls from his mother's side. He works as the executive assistant of Jack Gallo, the owner of the magazine Blush. He also has a seemingly mystical ability to tell when something sexual is happening or even being mentioned; for example, he was able to figure out that Maya and Elliot were in a relationship simply by mentally comparing Eliot's bite mark on an apple he was eating with a hicky on Maya's neck, as well as seemingly appearing to cross a massive distance across countries to appear in a room just as Maya was propositioned by a photographer. In season three, he marries a nude supermodel.

Maya Gallo

Maya was largely portrayed as a hot-tempered, sassy journalist who took a job at the fictional glamour fashion magazine Blush, which happened to be owned by her father Jack Gallo, in the pilot after she was fired for tampering with an anchorwoman's teleprompter and making her cry. She was a dichotomy on several levels, with her headstrong smarts coupled against a naïveté about life and sometimes even love. Keeping with her neo-feminist views, Maya frowned upon men looking at women as objects of sexual desire, instead encouraging people to admire females for their intelligence. Unfortunately for her, this was not a popular view for a fashion magazine and it therefore put her at odds with much of the magazine's staff.

Despite this, there have been several instances in which Maya was alluded to be nude or engaging in sexual intercourse and there was one instance in which she purposely stuck her chest out and partially unbuttoned her blouse in an effort to distract Dennis Finch, an admitted admirer of her bosom. In spite of her attempts to deemphasize her large breasts, Maya was occasionally on the receiving end of "boob jokes" on the show, especially from Finch and Nina Van Horn. Whenever a joke in regards to her bustline was made, Maya usually wouldn't dignify the remark with a verbal response, although she would often appear visibly flustered.

She is sometimes mistaken for a Puerto Rican. Her birthday is January 1. (In the episode "Nina Van Grandma" her birthday is (mistakenly) placed in the summer; Jack's line is "I was in that delivery room 14 hours on the hottest day of the year..... then why did it snow today")

Maya was often shown dating on the show. She and Elliot were a couple for quite some time, and they were briefly engaged. Among her other dates were Michael Tenzer (David Rasche), Chris (Dean Cain), Ray Liotta and another man named Chris (Joe Rogan). Although she was involved in several relationships, she was never depicted getting (legally) married in the series.

Nina Van Horn

The comical character of Nina Van Horn (adopted Claire Noodleman) was a cover girl in the 1970s and 1980s, and found that when she retired, people forgot her as quickly as they knew her. Due to her former status as a supermodel, she has been plagued by an obsession to party all night long and to return to work the following morning with a hangover. Her partying once caused her to die in 1986 (to which she responded, "it was only for 12 minutes, I'm obviously fine!"). Nina is considered an alcoholic partially due to her casual nip of alcohol during the day at work. She is also, if no longer an addict, then extremely experienced in recreational pharmacy with a wide knowledge of (and access to) uppers, downers, mood regulators and hallucinogenic compounds (She is able to identify not only that a Chinese sweet Lemon Wacky Hello is a hallucinogen, but also its chemical make up, by taste alone). Her slow witted and even foolish demeanor create a lot of embarrassing situations for her character. She is understood to be promiscuous and possibly bisexual.

Nina is obsessed with her age and looks. In one episode, she mentioned that she had the telephone number of a plastic surgeon on speed dial, and when her age is nearly revealed over the P.A., she runs into Jack's office to destroy the P.A. so nobody will know her age. Throughout the run of the show she was vaguely in her late forties to early fifties, once blurting out that life's no fun at fifty (EP: "Sid and Nina").

In most seasons Nina constantly talks about her friend Binny. She is almost never seen but is heard about all the time. This usually leads to groans by other members of Blush who have to listen. In the episode "Bye Bye Binny", we hear that Binny dies and Nina must face the fact that she lost her only friend. At one point, she mentions that she was the one who broke up music bands such as The Eagles and the Jackson 5. Binny appears as a ghost to Nina in "Strange Bedfellows", but her face is never shown.

Jack Gallo

Jack is the owner of Blush. During his daughter Maya's childhood, Jack was an absent workaholic. The relationship between the two of them develops throughout the series reaching its pinnacle when he hands the magazine over to Maya in the series finale after retiring.

Jack is 3 times divorced and currently married to Maya's high school classmate Allie. They have a daughter (Maya's stepsister) named Hannah.

Jack has a running contest with Donald Trump as to who is, among other topics, the smartest, the richest, and the best gift giver.

Elliot DiMauro

Photographer for "Blush", who often dates the models. Elliot was "discovered" by Jack, who found him selling his photography on the street, which all happens before the series begins. Also dated Maya for a period of time.

Kevin Liotta

Mail Guy at Blush. Ray Liotta's cousin.

Vicki Costa

Hired by Jack & worked at Blush for part of the final season.

Writing Staff

  • Steven Levitan
  • Marsh McCall
  • Stephen Engel
  • Andy Gordon & Eileen Conn
  • Tom Martin
  • Sivert Glarum & Michael Jamin
  • Jack Burditt
  • Don Woodard & Tom Maxwell
  • Moses Port & David Guarascio
  • Susan Dickes
  • Tom Saunders & Kell Cahoon
  • Jeff Lowell
  • Bill Steinkellner
  • Brian Reich


DVD releases

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released the complete first and second seasons of Just Shoot Me! on DVD in Region 1 for the first time on June 8, 2004. Season three was released on February 24, 2009.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Info
The Complete 1st & 2nd Seasons 31 June 8, 2004
  • Commentary with the Creator and Writing Producers
  • Always in Fashion Featurette
  • The Blush Covers Photo Gallery
  • Previews
The Complete 3rd Season 25 February 24, 2009

Awards and nominations


  1. SUSAN KING (1997, November 25). Sophomore 'Just Shoot Me' Proves Timing Is Everything; Television: When the series moved from Wednesdays to Tuesdays behind 'Frasier', its ratings took off: [Home Edition]. Los Angeles Times, p. 2. Retrieved September 13, 2007, from Los Angeles Times database. (Document ID: 23603986).
  2. STEVE WEINSTEIN (1998, April 16). Lightweight With a Punch; With his TV, film and stand-up careers all booming, David Spade is the first to acknowledge he's not a 'studly guy.' Thank heavens: [Home Edition]. Los Angeles Times, p. 50. Retrieved September 13, 2007, from Los Angeles Times database. (Document ID: 28683320).
  3. Bill Carter (1998, January 28). Show Could Be A Contender. The New York Times (Late Edition (east Coast)), p. 9. Retrieved September 13, 2007, from National Newspapers (5) database. (Document ID: 25669289).
  4. Joe Schlosser (2000, April). 'Just Shoot Me'--for the fifth time. Broadcasting & Cable magazine, 130(17), 34. Retrieved September 13, 2007, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 52852274).

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